The Reddit Relationship Guru: A Terrible Advice Column

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Every day, hundreds of Reddit users seek advice on the site’s Relationships page, opening their hearts on everything from dating to break-ups to infidelity to friendships gone wrong. We think this is a mistake—they should be coming directly to Paste. Why bother broadcasting your problems to hundreds of thousands of Reddit users when you could come straight to the Internet’s top source for relationship advice? Each week, I’ll try to correct this problem by addressing four of the relationship questions that really spoke to me, and little by little, I’ll make the world a better, and more terrible, place.

Hello, and welcome to the first installment of the Reddit Relationship Guru—that’s me! Let’s get right into it, with a problem from a young fellow about to get “the talk” from his girlfriend’s dad.

We’re listening, Troubled Teen:

My girlfriend’s (18) parents just found out that her and I (17) have sex and now her father asked to have coffee with me soon. I’m pretty nervous and don’t know what to expect. Her and I have been dating for about a year and a half and have always been safe. What do I expect or what should I do? I already agreed to have coffee with him.

This is a classic problem faced by a lot of adventurous teens in this day and age, and a lot of people would tell you to just endure the awkward conversation, nod at the appropriate times, and generally stay quiet while you get a stern lecture.

NONSENSE.

If you want this man to respect you, you need to take the fight to him. A pre-emptive strike is the only way to go here, Troubled Teen. You have to turn the tables. The minute the two of you sit down, you take charge of the conversation.

“I need to talk to you about something very serious,” you should say, as you stare at him with your fingers steepled beneath your chin. “Is it true that you and my girlfriend’s mother are sleeping together?”

He will probably be confused, which is exactly the reaction you want. Now is your chance to really set the tone:

“This is a very normal phase you’re going through, and I want you to know that as long as you’re careful, I say, ‘go ahead! Have fun!’”

Before he can recover and respond, stand up and shout “you’re welcome!” in your most theatrical voice, and then get the hell out of there.

Miffed Roommate asks:

What is the least embarrassing and least awkward way, for all parties involved, for me to ask my new roommate to stop jerking off in the shower?

My gf and I rent out a room in our house. We just got a new roommate. We all share a bathroom…What can I possibly say for it to be as un-awkward as possible? Is there anything I could possibly say? I guess being blunt is best, but it’s just…. fuckin awkward.

There are three ways you can address this tricky problem, Miffed Roommate.

1. Put up a sign in the shower that says, “Warning: This Shower is Protected By a 24-Hour Masturbation Surveillance Camera.” This is a modification of the sign that many people place on their doors to ward off burglars, and if it works to keep thieves away, surely it will deter your pervert roommate.

2. Put a hidden remote megaphone in the shower, and when your roommate is in there, shout, “STOP MASTURBATING. REPEAT, STOP MASTURBATING.” It doesn’t matter if you get the timing right—there’s no way he’ll want to continue his awful habit after that. Keep this up for about six months, and if he ever mentions it to you, pretend you have no idea what he’s talking about.

3. The next time you’re all hanging out in a social setting, tell a story about how you once had a roommate who masturbated in the shower, and how it only ended when you went crazy and killed him.

Worried Boyfriend writes:

I (23 M) find it quite uncomfortable that my new SO continues to keep in touch with her ex boyfriend even though he has been a complete dbag to her in the past. When we started dating she said he was completely out of her life but they have gotten back in touch this week and met for lunch and dinner. She claims they are “best friends” and she doesn’t want to lose him as a best friend. She thinks it’s completely normal to see him on a regular basis. They were friends for 6 years before she started to have sex with him for 3 years on and off. They never officially called each other boyfriend/girlfriend.

I like the girl a lot but it’s a new relationship and I don’t want to keep dedicating my time to her if she can’t get over her past relationship. Not sure how to proceed. I’ve tried talking to her about not seeing him but she gets defensive. Her sister and her entire family HATE him and regularly tell her not to meet him but she won’t stop.

The solution here is so obvious that I can’t believe you don’t see it, Worried Boyfriend: You’re not enough of a bad boy. Your girlfriend is hanging out with her ex because he’s got a certain roguish flair that you lack. If you were a badass like him, your girlfriend wouldn’t need to meet him anymore, and your relationship would be back on a steady track. But the question is, how?

Ask yourself this: Who is the coolest bad boy in the history of the world?

The answer, of course, is Arthur Fonzarelli, aka “The Fonz” from TV’s Happy Days. Your solution: You need to act exactly like The Fonz, and I mean exactly. For the next week, slick back your hair with pomade, wear a leather jacket and tight jeans, roll up some cigarettes in the sleeves of your white t-shirt, and—this is the important part—limit your speech to actual Fonzie quotes that you can find on IMDB. Never break character. Ever. You’ll be her renegade hero in no time!

Finally, we turn to Neglected Friend:

After having recently gotten back from a dinner with my best friend of 3 years it has occurred to me that he spends nearly all his time on his phone whenever we hang out. At this particular dinner he barely spoke. From the moment he sat down to the moment we got up to leave he may have only uttered a few words regarding his meal. Another example is from when a group of us went to a movie and the only thing he said to me was a short comment about the movie while it was playing. And I can recall numerous other examples of times in which we’ve hung out with him spending a majority of the time looking down at his phone never bothering to enter or even participate in a conversation.

I find this incredibly frustrating because I don’t know what to do, I’m trying to hang out with him and have a good time but all he does is chat with someone else over text or reading twitter posts or going on reddit. The worst of all is when I try to start a conversation or talk with him I’ll get ridiculed later for talking too much.

I don’t know what to do and honestly I don’t know if I should even try.

This is a tough one, Neglected Friend, but luckily there is a solution. It requires a bit of creativity, but I believe in you. First, buy a phone costume. Second, wear it. Third, destroy his phone. Fourth, jump in his lap and make loud ringing and texting noises and spout interesting facts you might find on the Internet. With any luck, the ruse will work, and he’ll think you’re his new phone.

Make no mistake: Your life will change. You’ll have to sleep on his schedule, learn to imitate the voices of people he calls, sing every song on his iTunes, and even give medical advice if he’s a hypochondriac. That’s the bad news. The good news is that it will give you all the quality time you need with your best friend. Problem solved! (Side note: For personal safety reasons, be careful if he tries to “charge” you with a cord.)

See you next Monday for more of the best terrible advice on the web.

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